Aging is in the zeitgeist and a number of prominent actresses have been talking about what it means and how to navigate the challenging and interesting time. We love this video of Frances McDormand with her beautiful candid, open, naked face, and her decision to let it be. She says so much that is wise, including the reason facelifts upset her (made all the more interesting by her saying it to Katie Couric, who appears to have had work done and seems slightly uneasy).

This (face) is the map… this is the roadmap.

It takes it away. It’s like going…I’m going to cut out, take away, erase 10 years, 15 years?

Tony Gentile/Reuters

Poet Fleur Adcock wrote a beauty of a poem about just this. It’s called Weathering.

Literally thin-skinned, I suppose, my face
catches the wind off the snow-line and flushes
with a flush that will never wholly settle. Well:
that was a metropolitan vanity,
wanting to look young for ever, to pass.

I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty
nor anything but pretty enough to satisfy
men who need to be seen with passable women.
But now that I am in love with a place
which doesn’t care how I look, or if I’m happy,

happy is how I look, and that’s all.
My hair will grow grey in any case,
my nails chip and flake, my waist thicken,
and the years work all their usual changes.
If my face is to be weather-beaten as well

that’s little enough lost, a fair bargain
for a year among the lakes and fells, when simply
to look out of my window at the high pass
makes me indifferent to mirrors and to what
my soul may wear over its new complexion.

…what my soul may wear over its new complexion.


Photographer Tony Gentile totally “got” McDormand’s very alive and expressive face, including “that line” made from 20 years of smiling at her son.

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *